Friday, May 23, 2014

Update and May: Melanoma Awareness Month

Before everyone heads out to the beach to enjoy the sun this Memorial Day Weekend, I'd like to remind you to slather on the SPF! After my last post, I sincerely thank all of my readers for their kind messages over the past few months. So many shared the post, and I was amazed by the overwhelming number of readers - over 2,000 in the first 48 hours. Thank you for spreading the word and raising awareness about skin cancer. 

I have received numerous emails from friends and strangers - I'm so glad that my Melanoma Post encouraged so many to get checked. In fact, two family friends scheduled appointments and had cancers removed. Sharing my very personal story was well worth it! I was also amazed at how many of you reached out to me to share your own stories - skin cancer and Melanoma is truly an epidemic. Thank you for the overwhelming support. I'm so sorry for those who haven't been as fortunate, who are battling skin cancer. I admire you, and my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Besides posing for this picture in Bermuda, I spent every minute completely covered and under an umbrella. I still keep my hat on even in the shade, and I have SPF 50 all over! I am sporting a Mott50 maxi skirt and a Lands End Rash Guard
My leg has been healing nicely, and I am so lucky that my team of doctors got all of the cancer. I will always go to the dermatologist every three months to get a full check and am drastically changing my lifestyle to stay out of the sun and protect my skin.

I spent a few weeks in Bermuda this month and found it a challenge to stay out of the sun. I managed and wore sunscreen every day! While I was there, I ate dinner next to a family enjoying vacation on the island. They were all burned to a crisp, and their two fair, red-headed daughters (both under the age of 15) were painfully scorched. It made me cringe! Hopefully they will never see the cancerous effects of the sun, but unfortunately, many of us see vacation as an opportunity to overexpose ourselves to the sun. Now that we know the consequences of that mindset, we all have to protect ourselves and our children.

It's Melanoma Awareness Month, and you should know about some great UPF clothing and sunscreens that I've found.

CLOTHING: Mott50, Lands End, Coolibar (also has great options for men - if my picky fiancé approves, your guy will too! He wears these long-sleeved tees) Cabana Life
*All of these brands are UPF 50
10% Off Mott50 when you sign up for their email list - they do not bug you with constant emails, I promise!

When I started wearing UV Rash Guards last Summer, I was expecting them to be uncomfortable and hot. I was amazed that they actually cool you down by protecting you from the rays. Mott50 clothing truly feels like cotton - it's made from bamboo and really breathes. Their product line is perfect for the beach, but it's really more of a lifestyle line. I wear their clothing on days when I know I'll be walking around outside or sitting under an umbrella for lunch. You would never know that the Mott50 shirts weren't just regular cotton shirts. Also, Mott50 'Jenna' and 'Ginger' tops have a 'thumb hole' for the option of hand coverage - I love that!

Lands End rash guards come in great patterns and colors - they have a silkier feel than Mott50. Very comfortable and breathable as well. I don't own any of the Cabana Life products, but their patterns and color options are great, and their rash guards have a 'tunic' look.

*TAKE NOTE - just because it's a 'rash guard' doesn't necessarily mean it has any sun protection. Read the fine print and be sure that it says UPF or SPF (it should really be at least 50, but something is better than nothing). I have really liked many of the rash guards on Athleta, but I've realized that only some of them have protection. You're wasting your time and money buying a rash guard without UV Protection. Also, I've noticed that some rash guards have 3/4 sleeves - obviously, some protection is better than none, but take it from me - I had my first melanoma on my forearm. It is exactly where my arm would have been exposed in a 3/4 sleeve.


I've been alternating between two daily SPF moisturizers - I wear Peter Thomas Roth Sheer Coverage SPF 30 which is made in NYC. You can buy it directly or through Sephora. I love the lightweight matte finish of SPF 30 Coola Suncare Matte Tint - it's organic and even has a slight tint. You can also find it on On days when I'm going to the beach for a bit (under an umbrella!), or even walking to the gym, I will wear Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 55 on my face and body. Remember to cover your hands with sunscreen too! Try to buy make-up with SPF in it that will give you added protection throughout the day.

HAT and SUNGLASSES: not only is a hat a great accessory, but it's also smart! A wide brim is best, but just try to cover your ears - a baseball cap doesn't do that. You must also protect your eyes from the sun's rays - if you're not wearing polarized sunglasses, you're not protecting your eyes. Kids and Adults should wear polarized sunglasses - I love my Maui Jims - they guarantee the lenses if they scratch.

Thanks again for the well wishes and support over the past few months. Hopefully, I've knocked some sense into you by now and you'll protect yourself in the sun. I hope you find some of my recommendations helpful. I would love to hear some of your suggestions - please comment below. Enjoy the long weekend, and sit back with a cocktail - just be sure it's under an umbrella, please!

Friday, March 21, 2014

My Most Personal and Important Post Yet. A Plea to Fellow Sun Worshippers

I am writing this only moments after removing extensive bandaging from my leg. I look down at my shin which is covered in stitches, swollen and misshapen, and for a few minutes, I cry – I have just had surgery to remove my second skin cancer in the last year. I’m 26 years old. I was first diagnosed with Melanoma on my left forearm in February 2013.

Now that I’ve adjusted to this new reality, I’ve decided to write about it, not for sympathy or pity, but because I feel it would be selfish if I kept this experience to myself and failed to warn others. No one thinks that skin cancer will strike at twenty-five, but it does – and for me, it did.  Melanoma is now epidemic, yet relatively few people get checked for it or even think they are at risk, particularly young people. The odds of surviving Melanoma are far greater when it is caught early. If I can persuade even one person to get checked, and if that appointment results in the early detection of a skin cancer, I’ll know that sharing my story was worthwhile.

Unlike many twenty-somethings, I see a dermatologist yearly to get a full body check. Last winter, I asked my doctor about a strange-looking mole on my arm. She said it was nothing to worry about and that she would look again in a year, but something made me insist to the point of saying, “I’m not leaving here until you biopsy this mark.” Begrudgingly, she performed the procedure, and I received a phone call five days later informing me that I had Melanoma and two other forms of cancer clustered in the same place. Immediate surgery removed the tumor, as well as a great deal of surrounding tissue, leaving a large scar and a misshapen forearm that took many months to heal. Alarmed by my brush with cancer, I bought UV protective clothing and took considerable care to avoid the sun all summer. I wasn’t open about my experience then, mostly because I wasn’t ready to deal with it.  I hoped this experience was a fluke that I wouldn’t have to deal with again.

Last November, I noticed a red mark on my left shin, just above my ankle. My (new) dermatologist told me it was probably nothing at my age. Within three months, it grew rapidly, and I scheduled an emergency appointment in January. Again, I insisted on a biopsy and this time it was a very rare tumor few doctors have seen. This time, my pathology reports were sent to distant specialists to discuss, and I ended up at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.  There, a team of pathologists evaluated my cancer and with the help of an oncologist and surgeon, determined the course of treatment.  Within two weeks, I was under anesthesia on an operating table as a large portion of my shin was removed in a ‘wide excision’. Despite the work of a world-class plastic surgeon, it’s not pretty – and my condition is no longer a fluke.  According to my oncologist, I am at exceedingly high-risk of more melanoma, especially if I do not stay diligently out of the sun and see a dermatologist every three months for the rest of my life.

It’s imperative to know your body, recognize what constitutes a worrisome change, and check your skin frequently. It’s also vitally important to listen to your gut when something seems wrong.  Never ever take no for an answer when you have a ‘funny feeling’. Be persistent because your life may quite literally be at stake! If I had listened to two dermatologists, I would very likely have lost the chance to celebrate my thirtieth birthday. While insisting upon a biopsy made for some awkward moments and an irritated doctor, it was the difference between metastatic cancer and the urgent treatment I needed to save my life.

I have never used a tanning booth, but have been a lifelong sailor and beach lover. According to my oncologist, I used ‘Nature’s Tanning Bed.’ I am fair-skinned and blue-eyed, and I recall childhood sunburns, and an ever-peeling nose as a sailing instructor for many summers. I considered myself careful in the sun, pretty good about applying and re-applying sunblock and wearing sunglasses and hats. That wasn’t enough.

I hope this post convinces you to visit a dermatologist for an evaluation. I am now investing in a wardrobe full of UV protective clothing and considering designing my own. I will get past the appearance of my scars, and know I am lucky that my cancer was treated early, but the sun is not my friend – a tan is certainly not worth this pain and disfigurement.  It isn’t worth dying for.

So, if I’m on the beach this summer, it will not be between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.  When I do go, I will be the girl covered from head to toe under the shade of an umbrella! I will be wearing sunblock every day, all year, and I’ll be hoping that you will, too.  And please, if you have not seen a dermatologist in a year or more – and especially if you never have – pick up your phone and make an appointment.  Do it now.  

I've deliberated for some time as to whether or not to include a photograph of my latest reconstruction. I've decided that although it isn't a pleasant thing to see, it may make the best impact of all. If this is what motivates you to get checked, it was worth the momentary squeamishness.  

Before Surgery - Surgeon Marked the Area to be taken off.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

#Gift Guide for Everyone on your List

We've put together Tipsy Skipper #Gift Guides for everyone on your #Christmas list this year! Shop #madeinUSA

For the #Boston Lover: cufflinks for Men, Bags and Earrings for Women. #monogram it!
Shop Here: Boston Clutch   Elephant Clutch   Cufflinks and Earrings

 For 'Miss Match' - coordinating accessories in our popular 'Fiji Fizz' print.
Shop Here: Flip Flops Captain Morgan Clutch Key Fob Cosmetic Bag Earrings

Gifts for the Animal Lover! We have something for everyone!
Shop Here: Equestrian Clutch Camel Clutch Tipsy Trunks Clutch Tipsy Tacks in Silver and Gold

 For the 'Gifter' on a Budget: Gifts under $40
Shop Here: Bangle Bracelet Earrings and Cufflinks Cosmetic Bags Tipsy Tacks Key Fob

For Miss 'Pink and Green'
Shop Here: That's a Croc Clutch Floral Clutch Flip Flops Cosmetic Bag Earrings Skipper Skimmers

Thanks for shopping American-made this year! Happy Shopping!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from Tipsy Skipper!

We got a little carried away this year with these eggs.... We're so excited about our new prints - they just look great on any surface!
We apologize for the lack of recent posts. Tipsy Skipper HQ has been busy with new print designs and custom products! We'll be posting regularly again soon!

In the meantime, please check out our new additions to the Captain Morgan Clutches. New prints will soon be available in our Tipsy Toes and Tipsy Totes as well!

Cheers to a Happy Easter!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Styling for the Holidays

For a Daytime Event or Casual Gathering

J.Crew Dress . Tipsy Skipper Earrings . Port Tack Clutch . J. Crew Pearl Necklace . Skipper Skimmers (Flats)

Mix prints using your accessories. The flats and clutch are worn far enough apart that you can mix prints without looking overdone. Use the color palette of navy blue to tie the accessories together.

For a Cocktail Party

J.Crew Dress . Jojo Pearl Party Bling Earrings . Port Tack Clutch . J. Crew Pearl Necklace and Cocktail Ring . Nine West Flats

Styling for a Formal Affair

 Devon Baer Ruffle Collar Silk Dress . Nine West Flats . Tipsy Skipper 'Riptide' Clutch
 Tipsy Skipper 'Riptide' Clutch . Jojo Agate Necklace and Clear Party Bling . Jojo Cocktail Ring

What are your styling tips for dressing for the holidays this season? We're excited about Red and Jewel Green. What's your color of the moment?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Evolution of a Custom Print

Did you know that Tipsy Skipper creates custom designs and products in addition to the original line of accessories? We've done custom designs for clubs, organizations, sororities, and weddings!

The Ocean House in Watch Hill, RI is a magnificent coastal resort, for which we recently designed a custom line of products. The key to custom orders is to make sure that the print design and pattern is unique and special. For the OH, it was important that the design had the same fresh, fun and seaside feel that the resort does.

First, gather images...
Second, I created a gouache painting of the Ocean House. I then scanned the painting and 'cleaned up' the image on the computer.
 I then created an image of the iconic tower, from a different perspective, and used it as a 'mark' or 'icon' to then use in a pattern repeat.
The prints were used for a whole line of custom Tipsy Skipper products - flip flops, ties, clutches, tote bags - in various prints and colorways.

Tipsy Skipper Custom Collection for the Ocean House.
Tipsy Skipper custom Ocean House Tie. Jonathan, the OH Sommelier, models his.


The Beach Plum on Fishers Island, NY placed a Tipsy Skipper custom order as well. In fact, we just re-ordered this design for the second year.  Fishers is a small island off the easternmost part of Long Island, NY. It's actually very close to the coast of RI and CT.

First, gather Photos...
Then I sketched and played around with color, scale, positioning, etc.
And finally, the finished print design! Fun and whimsical - just like summer spent on Fishers!

The finished clutch turned out beautifully! They are available at the Beach Plum and on the website.
It's fun working on all prints, but it's especially fun working on custom orders. Customers love to buy items that are unique to a place that they love, or where they spend time. Also, it's so fun working on bridal or sorority orders - I love to see the photos with women enjoying the product!

Custom SILK clutches to match the charcoal bridesmaid dresses.
Interested in placing a custom Tipsy Skipper order? Contact for further information. Let's start designing! Made in USA.

Monday, October 15, 2012

White Jeans after Labor Day...

Don't put away those white jeans just yet! Accessorize them for Fall with a seasonal palette of orange, red, and navy. Add a brown belt for a Fall look and a pair of Skipper Skimmers with brown leather trim to match.

Just because it's October doesn't mean you can no longer wear color. Have fun with your wardrobe, and accessorize with Tipsy Skipper!

 in Sea Crest and That's a Croc
email for monogram information
in Sea Crest and That's a Croc

Send us your Fall wardrobe ideas. How do you take your white jeans from Summer to Fall?